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Good as this may sound,it is a subject of disdain and disgust to state governors who are all out to see the immediate end of the policy before it kick starts.Let's first analyze what the local government actually means to the people of Nigeria.As prescribed in the Nigerian constitution of 1999. Representatives of local government collect taxes, provides houses for the people in need. They uphold order in the markets, provide citizens with amenities, such as service roads, streets lights, drains, public places and build new facilities when necessary.They also carry out waste removal, evaluation of residential properties for further tax collection and birth, death and marriage registrations.
Local government monitors the activities of small organizations like restaurants, shops, bakeries, kiosks.They oversee the functioning of the educational system, the agricultural sector and natural sphere except for mining operations.
If all these among others are the functions of the local governments,it conveys to us how close the local government is,to the people at the grass-root and how important local government is to Nigerians. We can argue to a large extent that without active involvement of the local government in the developmental activities at the grass root,no meaningful achievement would be seen.
Full financial autonomy of the local we can also argue will provide quality jobs to people,road maintenance will be swift,provision of residential homes for people in need can also be achieved with local government finance if available funds are properly monitored.
We are not oblivious of the fact that local government chairmen are human beings just like state governors who we presume presently took live out of the finance supposedly meant for development activities at the local level,but we only envisage a situation where peoples money gets closer to them for once, now ever than before.
Governors have argued that the steps taken by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is against the law and constitution of the country,they say it violates the norm and could lead to chaos and distrust in government.They said Section 7 (6) (a) and (b) of the Constitution conferred on the National Assembly (NASS) and the Stale House of Assembly, the powers to make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to the local councils in the Federation and within the State, respectively and have now called on the federal government to call to order, Director of the NFIU, saying such reckless guidelines had the potential to cause disaffection in the country.
A right thinking person will wonder,what is the fuss about,why will the government embark on actions seen to be clearly against the constitution.
Well,before we crucify the government for the step they have taken,it is essential we take a look at some critical aspects of our life's.How has your local government impacted on you as an individual or on your folks.What is the state of your local roads,hospitals, schools,markets.What jobs have been provided by your local government to graduates in your communities .
These and several other pressing issues are what we should consider pertinent in the present circumstance.We know the relationship between local government chairmen and governors,we know they literally feed from governors pockets .We know how handicapped they are when it comes to funds and funding of projects at local government levels. It is obvious that the local government has been rendered useless,hapless,inept and clueless by governors who dictate to them what to do like the pipers payers.
If what we all know and feel today in present day Nigeria concerning local government nauseates you and i,it is poignant that a drastic change is inevitable, hence what we are about to witness.
It is crucial we embark on this experiment to have a view and feel of what can be achieved through local government financial autonomy.As a matter of fact,the status quo has proved to be a failure and a conduit pipe for usurpers to siphon money.People derive absolutely no dividends from the closest government to them.
Huge cry of poverty,joblessness and insecurity that pervades the country in relation to economy and general development is not unconnected to the ludicrous poor state of things at the local government level.
It is therefore rational to have a look at a plausible alternatives and this, is presumably what orchestrates the initiatives taken by the present government concerning local government financial autonomy.It must not be allowed to slip through our fingers